Sermon

Known By Our Fruit

Michael Beck Michael Beck

Click play to listen to the sermon.

We are known to others by the behavior we exhibit.

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go (Proverbs 22:24)

A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame. (Proverbs 12:16)

Until we act, others have a hard time forming an opinion of us.

When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. (Proverbs 23:1,2)

Sooner or later, that which is in our hearts “comes out.”

Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known. (Proverbs 14:33)

Others become wary of us based on who they see us to be.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. (Psalm 71:4)

The kind of person we are informs others as to what they can expect from us.

A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. (Proverbs 15:18)

Behavior can be predicted based on what kind of person we have shown ourselves to be.

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. (Proverbs 13:4)

Others know us by our actions. It doesn’t take us long to develop an identity.

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. (Proverbs 20:11)

Who we are inside cannot remain hidden. Eventually, the contents of our heart manifest to others and to ourselves.

For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:44,45)

Despite how outwardly righteous they appeared, the unaddressed sins of the Pharisees could not remain buried.

…Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. (Luke 12:1,2)

Our walk in God (or our failure to do so) is manifested by our actions.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:19-25)

Professions of faith are empty unless we demonstrate corresponding fruit.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:18-20)

Every believer is called to diligently give evidence of being a new creature by their words and deeds.

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (Titus 3:8)

We are to let God’s presence in our life reveal to everyone a marked difference in our life.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (Philippians 4:5)

When we are a new creature in Christ, old things have passed away and new things have come. We are to judge all we could do by whether it is compatible or incompatible with our being a new man, created in the image of God.

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him (Colossians 3:9,10)

The claim that we are righteous in Christ is manifested by righteous actions. The claim that we are children of God is confirmed or denied by what we do and do not do.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:7-10)

A believer continues to have the ability to do good or evil. But those who are walking in God do not allow themselves to do things which are “against the truth.” They cannot do certain things because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit in their life. For a believer to say they CAN do things which are evil (because they have no conviction against it) is a sign of reprobation.

Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2 Corinthians 13:7,8)


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.